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Textures of the OrdinaryDoing Anthropology after Wittgenstein$
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Veena Das

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780823287895

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823287895.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Disorders of Desire or Moral Striving?

Disorders of Desire or Moral Striving?

Engaging the Life of the Other

(p.148) 5 Disorders of Desire or Moral Striving?
Textures of the Ordinary

Veena Das

Fordham University Press

This chapter takes one case of the dangers posed by desire across religious divides—in this instance the small event of a Muslim girl and a Hindu boy in one of the low-income neighborhoods in Delhi having fallen in love with each other. The scene of desire that transcends religious differences and transgresses a given moral code is a significant motif in the poetic imaginary in South Asia, but it rarely asks how such desire is sustained within the social? Usually such love affairs are presented either in the form of cautionary tales or as allegories of the closeness of love and death. In the case examined, the motif shifts to that of inhabiting a life in this difference. The chapter shows that it is not only the couple but everyone in the family who is given an opportunity to make shifts, to learn how to inhabit a newness. The notion of an adjacent self, parallel to the idea of the neighborhood of the actual everyday and the eventual everyday, is taken up to show a moral sensibility that is not about escape from the everyday but an inhabitation of the everyday through a realization of new possibilities within it.

Keywords:   actual everyday, adjacent self, desire, erotic, eventual everyday, family, interreligious marriage, love, moral sensibility, Muslim

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